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The Role of Acas Code of Practice in Resolving Employment Relationship Issues


Conflict is deep rooted in employment relationships. It is inevitable in most of the organizations and happens when there's a difference between the employee needs and the needs of the organization. The role of the manager is to look after the profit and performance of the employer as well as ensuring the employees job satisfaction, inspiring and engaging them in their work (Ali et al. 2018). The Acas Code of Practice proposed a standard of morals to overcome the disciplinary and grievance situation in the workplace ( 2019). This study will explore the importance of Acas Code of Practice to resolve the issues and provide advice and guidance to both employers and employees in employment relationships.

Analysis on the proposition of disciplining employees as developmental and not as means to punish and reaffirm management power and authority: Whatsapp

Bundy et al. (2018) commented that conflict arises when the need of an employer does not match the requirements of the employee in an organization. However, it is prone to consider conflict in a negative aspect but it could be considered as an effective way to learn and become more responsible, productive, and supportive and satisfied in their work environment.

Conflict can arise due to different aspects. In workplaces, conflict is inevitable because employees from various backgrounds and different work cultures are brought together for business purposes. Some of the issues or causes that lead to conflict are;

  • Inadequate training to the employees- Every employee should be skilled to perform their task. Vornholt et al. (2018) commented that, disability to perform tasks or inadequate training may affect the productivity and outcome of the employees. This may cause failure to meet the goal of the organization.
  • Poor work environment- Organization can become a toxic environment when managers or head of the management stimulate and nurture the grievance rather than resolving it at the earliest. Moreover, discriminating among employees depending upon their position and personality may add fuel between the employees that may turn tension into chaos or conflict (Dunbar, 2018).
  • Bullying and harassment - Discrimination among employees in workplace is an illegal practice according to the Acas Code of Practice. Cletus et al. (2018), opined that most of the employees at the workplace suffer from unfair treatment depending on their race, age, gender, disability, religion and so on. This harassment tends towards the cause of conflict.
  • Poor communication- Most of the grievances happen when the need and interest of employees does not match with the employers (Guest, 2017). However, leaving the grievances unsolved and focusing on employee's negativity may tend to cause serious problems at workplaces.

It has been a practice in most of the organizations that managers or supervisors deal with the fellow co-workers to get jobs done. The manager should be well trained to cope up with the challenges arising due to dissatisfaction and conflict among the employees in the workplace (Andel et al. 2019).

Jha et al. (2016), commented that employees are a crucial resource of any organization. Therefore, it is important to improve and develop their contribution to the company's mission.

There are several ways of handling and managing workplace conflict;

  • Responding to complaints or grievances- Conflict in the workplace is very common in everyday life. The foremost way to resolve conflict is to identify and sort out the source of grievance. Therefore, Flake et al.(2019) stated that as soon as the source gets identified steps should be taken to deal with the issues instead of leaving it unresolved that can cause serious problems in productivity, work culture and morale among the employees.
  • Certain change in practices and procedures in the work cultures - Organization must promote employment policies and procedures to improve employment relationship between employees and employers or among the staff and promote a more structured, well organized and effective organization (Guest, 2017).
  • Introducing new techniques to handle conflict- Lacerenza et al. (2018), opined that, it is significant to develop and promote new techniques such as proper training and an open brief communication between managers, employees and leaders as and when required to resolve conflict.
  • Behavioral change towards the employees- To avoid conflict in an organization change of behavior towards the employee is preferred. Moreover, creating an organizational culture by valuing the employees, discussing their need of interest, dealing promptly, reasonably and impartially as much as possible to resolve the grievances that may gradually in time lead to conflict (Itten, 2018).
  • Listening to the employees- Organizations should provide the opportunity to its staff members to place their views and perceptions regarding the issues raised and try to resolve it impartially focusing on the interest not the position or charm of the employee.
  • Treating fairly- This process helps to reduce tensions in work culture (Correll, 2017). However, practicing unfair dismissal, discrimination among employees depending on their position and personalities, recognize the importance of their needs and reward fairly for their hard work is one of the best way to improve and develop healthy environment in workplace.
  • Encourage initiatives- Organization should adopt different strategies to meet the common goal of both employees and employers. Halawi et al. (2018), stated that proper training needs to be provided to the employees when and where required to manage workplace conflict.
Evaluation of managing Conflicts by organizations

Instead of resolving the issues if the management authority focuses on the negative aspects of their employees it will lead to causes of serious problems in the workplace (Callister et al. 2017). Leaving conflict unsolved may cause serious problems like moral, productivity and work culture in the workplace. Whereas, in certain cases disputes or grievances are so strong that an outside intervention becomes crucial as their mode of solving problems are imparting and independent.

The performance conducted by the employee of an organization is being addressed as disciplinary action by the employer (Apalia, 2017). In this context, the formal way of producing the issues and objections raised by the employees due to the unfair treatment in the workplace is grievance.

The best way an employer must deal with the conflict that arises within the employees is handling the case in a fair procedure. The employer should carry out the investigation reasonably otherwise the decision that the organization may likely be unfair and may lead to conflict within the workplace. On the other side, the investigation that the employers conduct to resolve the conflict should be done according to the procedure of Acas Code of Practice. Every organization should follow and maintain their own policy and procedure. However, if the case of conflict reaches the Employment Tribunal, judges will investigate whether the employer has followed the Acas Code of Practice in a fair way (Singhal et al. 2017). Proper training should be given to the employers and managers to resolve the grievances and disciplinary case

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From the above study, it is understood that conflict is unavoidable in most of the organization and the employment relationship is essentially important in any business. It may occur due to the employee's background and culture. It is an everyday occurrence at the workplace that tends to damage the work environment. There are so many reasons that may cause grievances. The foremost important part to identify how and when to resolve the conflict before the situation of the workplace turns into uncontrollable chaos. Therefore positive discipline is much more acknowledged rather than progressiveness to run an organization smoothly. Acas Code of Practice sets out basic principles for handling the grievances and provides guidelines for the benefit of both employers and employees. Organization must also practice different procedures and policies to manage conflict.

Reference 2019 [online] Available at [Accessed on 14th December 2020]

Ali, M., Lodhi, S.A., Raza, B. and Ali, W., 2018. Examining the impact of managerial coaching on employee job performance: Mediating role of work engagement, leader-member-exchange quality, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences (PJCSS), 12(1), pp.253-282.

Andel, S.A., Kessler, S.R., Pindek, S., Kleinman, G. and Spector, P.E., 2019. Is cyberloafing more complex than we originally thought? Cyberloafing as a coping response to workplace aggression exposure. Computers in Human Behavior, 101, pp.124-130.

Apalia, E.A., 2017. Effects of discipline management on employee performance in an organization: The case of county education office human resource department, Turkana County. International Academic Journal of Human Resource and Business Administration, 2(3), pp.1-18.

Bundy, J., Vogel, R.M. and Zachary, M.A., 2018. Organization–stakeholder fit: A dynamic theory of cooperation, compromise, and conflict between an organization and its stakeholders. Strategic Management Journal, 39(2), pp.476-501.

Callister, R.R., Geddes, D. and Gibson, D.F., 2017. When is anger helpful or hurtful? Status and role impact on anger expression and outcomes. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 10(2), pp.69-87.

Cletus, H.E., Mahmood, N.A., Umar, A. and Ibrahim, A.D., 2018. Prospects and challenges of workplace diversity in modern day organizations: A critical review. HOLISTICA–Journal of Business and Public Administration, 9(2), pp.35-52.

Correll, S.J., 2017. SWS 2016 Feminist Lecture: Reducing gender biases in modern workplaces: A small wins approach to organizational change. Gender & Society, 31(6), pp.725-750.

Dunbar, T.J., 2018. Conflict Resolution Strategies Used by Civilian Small Business Managers on Military Bases.

Flake, J.K. and Fried, E.I., 2019. Measurement schmeasurement: Questionable measurement practices and how to avoid them.

Guest, D.E., 2017. Human resource management and employee well‐being: Towards a new analytic framework. Human resource management journal, 27(1), pp.22-38.

Halawi, A. and Haydar, N., 2018. Effects of Training on Employee Performance: A Case Study of Bonjus and Khatib & Alami Companies. International Humanities Studies, 5(2).

Itten, A.V., 2018. Overcoming social division: conflict resolution in times of polarization and democratic disconnection. Routledge.

Jha, B. and Kumar, A., 2016. Employee engagement: A strategic tool to enhance performance. DAWN: Journal for Contemporary Research in Management, 3(2), pp.21-29.

Lacerenza, C.N., Marlow, S.L., Tannenbaum, S.I. and Salas, E., 2018. Team development interventions: Evidence-based approaches for improving teamwork. American Psychologist, 73(4), p.517.

Singhal, T., Ojha, A. and Madhav, N.S., 2017. Effective and impressive approaches for grievance handling in pharma sector. Innovat International Journal Of Medical & Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2(1).

Uitdewilligen, S. and Corbiere, M., 2018. Disability and employment–overview and highlights. European journal of work and organizational psychology, 27(1), pp.40-55.

Vornholt, K., Villotti, P., Muschalla, B., Bauer, J., Colella, A., Zijlstra, F., Van Ruitenbeek, G.,

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